8​.​) † The Orange Light [i]

from by Jesse Livingston

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He made him master of his house,
and ruler of all his possessions.
—The Litany of St. Joseph

I had just woken out of a dream I didn’t remember well. It had something to do with a bookcase in a tower and an underground room. There were plants growing in the moonlight.

I was walking out of my room into the hallway, rubbing at my eyes. My head hurt a little bit and everything looked slightly orange. I figured it was left over from my dream since there was a certain feeling I can’t describe that went along with the color. If I had to say, I guess it was a feeling of being lost or far away from what you were used to, like if you climbed a mountain and you were looking down into a valley on the other side. It seemed to be one of those strange things that happen when you just wake up, maybe caused by chemicals shifting around in your head.

When I got to the top of the stairs and looked down, things looked normal and the feeling was gone along with my headache. For some reason, I turned and stared back down the hallway. Everything still looked orange in there, and the feeling came back, though not as strong. I went downstairs and then back up again to make sure that what was happening was real. The orange color was hanging in the air all around, as though the regular lights were making it, but they had never made that color before. It was a sickly-sweet color of orange like some part of the air had died. The light was like a light I had seen before during an eclipse, but that light had been purple. The way it filled the world was the same way, though, as if it had always been there and I had just noticed it. The longer I stood there looking at it, the more my head started to hurt again, so I went downstairs...

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from A Thousand Lifetimes in an Hour, released December 21, 2012

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Jesse Livingston Denver, Colorado

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